By Alex Grecian, Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia
Finally Rasputin #2 is out. It was an excruciating wait after what was an absolutely excellent first issue surrounding the myths and legends of Ra-Ra-Rasputin. The legend of this person has only grown in the almost one hundred years since his (eventual) death and for someone who was mesmerized with the tale of his murder and of the man himself this is a book that you can’t overlook.
For the opening, call it a third, of this issue writer Alex Grecian steps back a bit again and allows the art to speak for itself and tell the story. It’s refreshing to get an issue that’s not covered in text about every little aspect of what’s going on while also letting the stellar visuals take center stage. It’d be interesting to see his script for an issue like this, and maybe something that could be included in a trade down the line, just to see how much freedom he gives to the art team that he clearly respects greatly. For what is present, Grecian continues to build off what we got from the last issue as far as the mystical powers of a now older Rasputin. He also has his father’s spirit loom just behind him in almost every scene, which is an interesting bit of foreshadowing, especially considering the last issue where he was standing behind Rasputin as he drank the poisoned wine. What role will his father play down the line and will there be any kind of communication between the two is something that will be extremely interesting to see as this series moves forward.
As mention with this issue, and the last, Rasputin has relied heavily on its art to help tell this massive story. Artist Riley Rossmo is arguably doing the best work of his career so far and some of that might be attributed to the fantastic color work of Ivan Plascencia whose coloring allows Riley, who usually colors his own work, to spend more time detailing the pages. Not only that, Plascencia’s coloring style adds depth and texture to Rossmo’s work that wasn’t really there before, allowing it to come to life in new an exciting ways. Even without the colors though, Rossmo’s pencil and ink work is top-notch. For proof, look no further than the double page spread of the church in Verkhoturye that he did. It’s so detailed and so expertly crafted that you can spend more time looking at this one page than reading the rest of the issue. For something as simple as establishing a setting, something that some readers might over look, he’s poured himself into and really created a master piece in between many other examples of just how good he really is.
Rasputin is cleverly written and beautiful to behold; something, again, as simple as giving a secondary character some background information is twisted into a clever ending that leaves a lasting impression. Rasputin really is something special from three creators who are giving it their absolute best and when you have a group as talented as this at the top of their game you’d be an absolute fool to pass this one up. Another instant Image gem, so go out and buy it.